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About Sickkids
About SickKids

August 1, 2017

A SickKids patient asks to "stop the smoking"

By Jessamine Luck, Communications & Public Affairs Intern

The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) President and CEO Dr. Michael Apkon received a notable letter recently. It was from a patient named Elise who had received a pass to go outside and enjoy the fresh air. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the experience she had hoped for.

Letter by SickKids patient asks to stop smoking
SickKids patient Elise sent a letter to Dr. Michael Apkon asking for people to stop smoking on hospital grounds.

The letter reads:

“Dear Mike Apkon,
My name is Elise from 7A. When I was on a Pass, the only time I get to go outside to enjoy the fresh air there was a lady smoking right beside me. Not only was she smoking there were others smoking to and cigarette buds everywhere. Not just for me but for every patients time outside, to make sure we don’t have to second hand smoke please get a security guard to patrol hospital property and make sure nobodys smoking. I personally would like to enjoy a summers day when I can. I hope you take this letter into consideration and stop the smoking.
Sincerely, Elise”

Today is World Lung Cancer Day, an opportunity to remind everyone that smoking is not permitted on hospital grounds or within nine metres of a hospital entrance. 

While we perform regular patrols and have a strict no smoking policy it is clear smoking continues to be an ongoing issue. We will be taking a closer look at our smoking policy and enforcement efforts but we need the community’s help as well. It’s up to each of us staff and visitors alike to hold each other accountable to these rules.

There’s no reason Elise and other patients shouldn’t be able to enjoy a summer’s day if we work together to keep the air surrounding the hospital as clean as possible.